In a friendly game played at the Oakland Coliseum on March 26, 2011 which saw Mexico beat Paraguay, Real Sociedad forward Carlos Vela played his second game for Mexico after having served a six-month suspension for being involved in an unauthorized postgame party during national team duty. Little did we know that that would be the last time Vela would put on the shirt for Mexico.
Since that time, because of issues with how he was portrayed and treated by the press, and personal issues with certain members of the federation and current coaching staff, Vela ruled himself out of playing for Mexico during the 2011 edition of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which Mexico won.
And when he was approached again last year to be part of the team that went on to win gold at the 2012 London Olympics, he passed in order to fully concentrate on establishing himself with Real Sociedad. Then again in March of this year, Vela on playing for Mexico for personal reasons, this time for the two World Cup Qualifiers.
Fast forward to today and after a great opening start to the league season, his performances have once again ignited calls for many in Mexico for him be called up for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers to be played on September 6 and 10 against Honduras at home and in Columbus against the United States.
Count me amongst those who will be shouting that he should be called up to play those two important games. I understand the backstory, and I am also of the belief that Vela is angry at Mexican national team coach Jose Manuel De La Torre because it was his brother, Nestor De La Torre, who suspended Vela for being one of the culprits of the unauthorized party back in September 2010.
All that said, Mexico are in a sporting situation at the moment where it needs to be able to count on or at least try and have it’s best players available to play the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.
While Vela has not accepted national team duty, he has expressed a desire to again play for the national team, although some have stated he will do so again if and only if Mexico qualify for the World Cup. Whether or not that is the case, the current coaching staff needs to once again make every effort necessary to get Vela to come play. Vela is by far the best Mexican player right now when taking into account skill and on-field performance.
Independent of unresolved issues or personal grudges, Mexico is not a national team that can say it can do without the services of such a player like Vela.